Summary: A vision-casting 4 part series on our core values as a church. This sermon is about growing disciples through small groups.
What Are We Made Of?
The DNA of Millville Avenue
Part 3: Inward
Icebreaker: The following are actual responses from comment cards given to the staff members at Bridger Wilderness Area in 1996:
-Trails need to be reconstructed. Please avoid building trails that go uphill.
-Too many bugs and leeches and spiders and spider webs. Please spray the wilderness to rid the areas of these pests.
-Please pave the trails…Chair lifts need to be in some places so that we can -get to wonderful views without having to hike to them.
-The coyotes made too much noise last night and kept me awake. Please eradicate these annoying animals.
-A small deer came into my camp and stole my jar of pickles. Is there a way I can get reimbursed? Please call…
-Escalators would help on steep uphill sections.
-A McDonald’s would be nice at the trailhead.
-Too many rocks in the mountains.
Mike Neifert, Light and Life (February 1997), p. 27
Intro: These comments and complaints indicate that the people who made them do not really understand what it means to stay in a "wilderness area." They were looking for something convenient and comfortable, but not truly a wilderness experience. In a similar way, many people today do not understand what it means to be a genuine Christian. There are multitudes that often follow Jesus or claim to be a Christian but they do so on their terms and not his. They do not truly comprehend the biblical definition of discipleship.
-Because of this ignorance there are many who consider themselves to be followers of Jesus who are not, even though in many ways they do look like followers of Jesus. They go to church, have a profession of faith, read their Bibles, pray, even give in the offering, but they are not the real deal or at least are not living and thinking like the real deal. Jesus confronts this problem in our text today. He makes very, very clear what it means to be a Christian, and therefore there is no reason for anybody to be ignorant or self deceived.
-Today is part 3 of our series, “What Are We Made Of?” And I’ve titled today’s message, “Inward,” because today we’re going to focus on the 2nd part of our mission as a church. Let’s review the full statement again:
The mission of the Millville Avenue Church of God is to help people know God, to grow people into fully devoted disciples of Jesus, and to equip people to go impact their world for Christ.
-Let’s read that out loud together. [Read]. Today’s focus is going to be that 2nd statement, “To grow people into fully devoted disciples of Jesus.” I want you to underline the words, “fully devoted disciple.”
-What does it mean to be a fully devoted disciple of Jesus? Well, there are few things that mark the life of a disciple. As we go through these give marks, I want you to take a good, hard look at your life and ask yourself, “Is this true of me?”
The Marks of a True Disciple
1. A true disciple puts Jesus first in all things. (Mark 8:34-38)
The disciple of Christ needs to be set apart from the world. Our focus should be on our Lord and pleasing Him in every area of our lives. We must put off self-centeredness and put on Christ-centeredness.